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THE SAND-MARTEN. The Sand-Marten, or, as it is sometimes called, the Bank-Marten, is a very small bird. It builds its nest in sandpits, old walls, or banks of earth. It does this by hollowing out with its little bill a round hole in the sand, about two feet deep. It then collects fine grass and feathers, and lines this hole with them, and makes a nice soft and safe nest in which to lay its eggs. Sometimes a pair of Martens will begin to bore a hole, and will then find that the earth is too hard for the purpose, or it may be that it is too soft and crumbles away. In either of these cases they will give up their labours, and choose another spot more suitable for their nest. They are passenger birds; that is to say, they do not stay in England all the winter, but fly away to some warmer clime, returning here in the spring like the swallows.
FEEDING THE CHICKENS.
FLORENCE BABINGTON was staying at her uncle's farm in the country, and greatly enjoyed going into the farm-yard and seeing all the animals. They soon got to know that she was fond of them, and the cows lowed when she came near, the pigs grunted, the horses neighed, the doves cooed, and the little chickens came fluttering all around her, for, they felt quite sure that she had something nice for them in her basket. One day, when she came out with some grain for the chickens, she thought she would try the effect of scattering it over old Turk's back. Immediately all the fowls flew upon Turk, and began pecking in his shaggy coat with great energy. It was in vain that he tried to shake them off. They were determined not to leave him until they had picked up every grain. Even a little grain that fell into his ear did not escape. A clever little fowl spied it and managed to pick it out.
LITTLE Tommy has for several weeks past been learning a long poem to say to his Papa on his birthday. His elder sisters have taught it to him, and now he is repeating it to his Papa without making a single mistake. The poem he is saying is “The Pet Lamb,” by Wordsworth, and very prettily he lisps forth
“The dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink;
Nor sheep nor kine were near; the Lamb was all alone,